Tips for dealing with lockdown stress and negativity
An increased stress level, hectic schedules and never ending deadlines supplemented by fierce competition have created the need for self-care and stress management, more strongly than ever before. The recent years have brought about the limelight on the importance of mental health and self-care with leaders across industries coming forward and speaking about their struggles with mental health.
While everyone talks about the monetary loss that has come hand-in-hand with the lockdown, very few care to talk about the fragile mindset it leaves you in. The world has seen an increased number of suicides during the lockdown on account of being locked in at home. People are struggling to find the balance between productivity and over-working, between conversation and loneliness, between safety and freedom.
We understand that the lockdown can cause higher levels of emotional stress, mental stress, negative thoughts and a poor state of mental health. We’ve come up with a couple of tips to help you cope with these tough times without having to change too much!
Reconnect with an old friend or relative:
With hectic schedules and never-ending social obligations, we forget to make time for the ones we love the most. Use this lockdown to reach out and reconnect with old friends, relatives or anyone you haven’t spoken to in a while! That one phone call will leave you feeling less alone and more united.
Work out daily:
Although it’s easy to say we don’t have time or space to workout, including even a 30-45 minute workout in your schedule daily can drastically impact your moods. Exercise is known to produce happy hormones in your brain which leave you feeling refreshed and energised. Make use of those YouTube videos and online-workout classes that help you design a workout regime in the restricted space you have. Just be sure to work out regularly and you’ll find yourself feeling much better and getting fitter!
Take up a new hobby:
While you generally don’t have so much time at hand to do all that you wanted to, you’ve got your lists ready. Now that you have the time, pick something off the list and start working on it. This lockdown is the best period to find more things that make you happy and indulge in them!
Limit screen time:
As much as we all love the Netflix binge, it leaves you feeling groggy and dreary. While the shows are fascinating, your mind goes into Zombie-mode and leaves you feeling down, anti-social and alone. So limit the amount of screen time you give yourself here to find the balance between entertainment and sinking hole!
Limit social media:
As always, when you’re scrolling through social media, it’s going to make you feel as if you’re not enough. The people on your platform are busy posting new accomplishments daily, appreciation posts for their friends, vacation images and other things that might make you feel like what you’re doing isn’t enough. Do not fall for it. Focus on what you’re doing for yourself, whether you put it on social media or not. Limiting your social media hours automatically leaves you feeling better about yourself because there’s no bar for comparison.
Create a work-life balance:
As work has forced its way into your home, the hours have turned longer than ever before and the sense of escape that your house gave you from work is now over. It’s becoming common for bosses to call you with erratic deadlines at all times of the day or night and expecting you to work on it immediately. It is important to keep work in one zone of the house and to discuss reasonable time boundaries with your superiors, otherwise the work stress won’t let you enjoy the time you have at home.
Read a book:
If you feel too alone or too idle, I definitely recommend reading. Pick up a book that intrigues you and you’ll have company for as long as the book is in your hand and even beyond! Reading is the best way to spend your time, especially when you’re living alone. It has the power to make you feel not-so-alone and to take away any blues you felt before you picked it up.
Remember that it’s okay to feel the way you do:
Although society has conditioned us to believe that we need to be on 24/7 and we always need to be hyper-productive, that’s not true or normal. Everyone has bad days, anti-social days and lazy days. It’s okay to feel however you feel as long as it’s temporary in nature. A good cry sometimes helps you much better than laughing all day. Embrace your negative emotions as they are and then work through them. It’s always okay to feel the way you do and it’s okay to reach out to someone for help when you can’t control it.
Ask for help:
With social stigma that comes attached with mental health problems in India, most of us are too scared to reach out to the people we need the most when we are facing such difficulties. We find it tougher to tell them how alone or depressed we might feel because we are worried about their perception of us. But truth be told, if someone loves you, they’ll love you no matter what. When you tell them about your mental state, they’ll help you get through it. If you’re too scared to reach out to them, book yourself a therapy session. Do whatever it takes. We all need help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a helping hand, it might be just what you needed!
Remember you are not alone in this:
Being locked away in your house can easily make you feel like you’re alone in this experience or that you’re the only one who is struggling with the change. That’s not true. Reach out to friends and family and ask them honestly how they’re coping. Once you initiate an honest conversation, you’ll come to see that everyone is struggling with the change, not just you. You’re not alone in it and you’ll have formed a support circle to contact when the feelings get too over-powering!